This episode is part two of our conversation with Mel Robbins, bestselling author, highly sought-after speaker, and successful entrepreneur. In part one she shared her journey from rock bottom to the height of success in her career. A lot of us can relate to parts of her story, especially overcoming negative self-talk.
Why do so many of us default to negative thoughts instead of positive ones? Mel says there are several reasons why we do that. The first reason is because our brains are designed to remember and amplify negative thoughts and experiences in order to protect us from having it happen again.
Another reason is we develop negative self-talk overtime and a lot of times it’s not our own voice. It may be the voice of a parent who was critical or a bully from your childhood--but you hold onto that as an adult. A third reason could be if you grew up in a household full of chaos, abuse, or neglect you may have developed a negative dialogue for safety.
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How the High Five Habit helps change negative mindsets
All of these reasons and more make participating in Mel’s High Five Habit difficult. When you look in the mirror you may feel damaged, unloved, or broken and therefore unworthy of a high five. We all have issues we are dealing with, but the good news is you can break these mindsets.
Mel says, “You’ve got to give me five days. Five days is what you need in order to break through this. Because what happens is your mind, and this is where the science comes in, your mind, your nervous system, your body, they're actually programmed to have this work. You can't screw this up, because your mind and your nervous system and your body are already programmed for this. And you don't have to do anything but raise your hand.”
It can’t hurt to try it. You just have to look at yourself in the mirror every morning and give yourself a high five. It will probably feel silly and you may even laugh at yourself, but it works. Your brain knows what a high five is and it knows that it means you’re doing a good job, you feel supported, and you get a boost of dopamine.
“When you go to wave to somebody, it's a positive thing. When you go to hug somebody, it's a celebratory thing. When you go to pat somebody on the back, you're raising your hands, it's a celebratory thing. When you cross the finish line, you raise your arms, it's a celebratory thing, when you get a high five it's a celebratory thing. So your nervous system, when you keep doing it to yourself, then starts to go, Oh, yeah, okay, here we go. And it gives you a jolt of positive energy. If you start making it a habit, it's why you will start to feel like you're leaving the bathroom with the wind at your back, knowing that no matter what happens, you got yourself, you can face this.”
How to deal with negative people in your life
As Mel puts it, how other people choose to behave has nothing to do with you. It’s their choice to remain negative, you only control yourself. And the more you practice the high five habit and supporting and encouraging yourself, the more it may annoy these people who choose to be negative. You’re going to show up differently, you are going to feel more empowered, and that gets under the skin of people who are not doing that for themselves because it is just human nature to want to pull other people down to our level instead of dealing with our own issues.
You can’t let other people get you down. If others start trying to tear you down because of your new positive outlook on life, don’t let them get to you. You may have to cut some people out of your life if they become too toxic. But keep working on yourself and don’t let them pull you to their level.
“I have deleted the beat down and I have replaced it with a different soundtrack. It doesn't mean I'm arrogant. It doesn't mean I think I’m all that, I've just silenced the relentless focus on what's wrong, I have silenced the relentless criticism. And I've created room for something beautiful, which is optimism, which is being able to look at myself and forgive myself on those days where I am stressed, and I snap at the kids and I feel like an asshole or I'm short with somebody or I screw up royally. I'm able to bounce back when I have a challenging thing happen.”
A new direction for Mel’s business model
The changes that have come about because of Covid have actually caused Mel to rethink her business model. Before the pandemic, she was traveling around a lot and had a videographer with her to capture everything and she had a couple of editors who would take all of the videos and cut it down. She was always out on the road speaking, answering questions, and teaching.
But she has found it challenging to move this over to a completely virtual setting and so now she is pivoting how she works. She says she actually doesn’t want to go back to the way things were for her before the pandemic, she was traveling too much. She now wants to stick to finding ways to work with people through online courses, programs, and other virtual things.
“We're in the middle of reinventing everything, in other words, and so you're gonna see a lot more events and a massive podcast and all kinds of awesome, awesome, awesome stuff. And a lot more partnerships, directing people toward experts in particular areas that have folks that hold people's hands and have systems and accountability and stuff that you need in order to make the change stick.”
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